By Tetyana Stadnyk
This article is about pro-Kremlin trolls attacking LinkedIn accounts, among them are American intelligence service veterans. It is the first time I have seen Russian trolls go this far and people’s accounts are permanently suspended. And LinkedIn as an American company doesn’t stand up for their own respected citizens.
Twitter and Facebook already do that, I didn’t expect it here. Linkedin is an American professional network company at least was until today. I live inUkraine, and I am not American, so I don’t protect their constitution or something, Americans will have to do that themselves, it’s their company. I am writing this because I want to show their social media companies are used by other countries against them.
It has been almost 3 years as Russia invaded eastern Ukraine and annexedCrimea. Russian invasion, which followed after Maidan – a nationwide protest, which outed corrupt former president with strong ties to Kremlin. In a moment, when your country doesn’t have a government, is a post-revolution and just next day neighbour country is invading with their 10x stronger army, war is coming and everyone understands this.
In such a panicking situation in the country, when you don’t trust anyone, I have met Charles Leven on LinkedIn. He is a retired man from the CIA, where he spent maybe 40 years. I was afraid at first when I saw that title :). I don’t remember who added whom, but it doesn’t matter, it was a long time ago. As time was passing by, I saw every day he was posting correct info about what happens here in my country and it should have been done not by him, but by American journalists and news websites, he did the job for them, instead of enjoying his retiring time.
American news still keep writing bullshit, calling Russian invasion in Ukraine either “crisis” or “conflict”, maybe Russia bribes them or maybe they don’t care as long as it doesn’t touch much of their own interests, in this case, I am speaking about Charles’ good qualities in comparing to most Americans I met and keep meeting. Soon I was not afraid of him. He always replies to messages, doesn’t attack anyone, not even Kremlin trolls, for whom he was just sending correct info in the form of links and articles. Seeing truth made Russian trolls think it’s harassment because they are so afraid of the truth, they used it as a reason to report him.
Oh, and he scared all Kremlin trolls from my profile, so they don’t bother me anymore, which is important for our peace of mind living in Ukraine at the current time. I never asked him for that, but every time there was a troll on my profile, very fast Charles was there and after that the trolls disappeared. Now I see them coming back, they will be here too.
A week ago LinkedIn Trust and Safety team sent an email to Charles that he had violated user agreement and deleted his account I saw it on this blog.
I sent him an email to ask what happened. LinkedIn deleted him, because the Kremlin trolls reported him.
For me it’s not new, I’ve been there already. I live in Ukraine and it happened with me 2,5 years ago on Twitter, this article is about 2nd or 3rd time as it happened with Ukrainian users which is also an American company. I was waiting for one month (+/-few days) for the Twitter “police” to unblock me. When I logged in finally, I saw that trolls have me blocked, so they indeed reported me, but as they are stupid, they can’t see I am now online and have more people following me. Americans are naive in this.They have to read more about Kremlin trolls and what they do.
Russia is in a state of war and they behave like this.
Having my own experience with this on Twitter I knew he cannot contact them, using same email he used here. So I sent them a few requests to their customer support to check it, I saw other people did the same. And reply was the usual bs, which doesn’t matter whether you submit it in Russian or in English language.
Charles also knows it is crap 🙂
Then on the other request I submitted I got more or less normal response from someone who I thought wanted to do something.
Charles said I can send Jarvis a screenshot of his email that he can’t even contact him using his email as his account was blocked, which I knew as you can’t submit to the website if you used same email when registering in this case.
Jarvis also appeared to be a disappointment, providing same reply, acting like nothing had happened. This is their customer service 🙂
Now, how to deal with it? Here is an example.
Two months ago Twitter had blocked the account @DarthPutinKGB – this British guy is mocking Kremlin aggressive politics against Ukraine using humor, satire and jokes. Kremlin became angry and launched trolls attack against him, so he was also blocked like Charles. As Darth Putin had 60K+ followers, including politicians and journalists. It made it to the media the next day, so twitter had to unlock him in 3 days and even gave him extra followers, but no apologies.
So, just submit it in the media and tomorrow Charles, James Berger and Eric Tallant will be back on here, it’s how it works. Sending to LinkedIn CS or to the management it’s useless, they don’t care as long as it doesn’t bring harm in public. Charles also says so. Listen to him, he knows more than I do 🙂
I saw someone wrote that Charles accused others of being a troll, so they don’t want to send request to CS, well, maybe you have read RT or other Russian media which writes bullshit and then this opinion sticks in your mind and you believe it? Maybe you also believe that there are no Russian soldiers in Ukraine, Ukraine invaded herself and people who are dead is not true either? What will you say if I will tell that in other wars where maybe your country participated no one died? I bet you will be very upset, so think first and don’t complain if you are called a troll or an idiot, rather find out more about the subject on which you don’t agree with other people 😉
Charles worked in a very dangerous field, which helped to keep your American country safe. James Berger is a lawyer and was a premium user for 4 years I think, should get back all money he paid LinkedIn for this, also had 20K followers, probably didn’t save their contacts and they can’t contact him now, andEric Tallant was in the US army. I can’t understand why they get this from their own American company?
LinkedIn just deleted them and didn’t give them chance to download their archive with their contacts and activity, it takes 24 hours to download it. I know already no one cares what happens in Ukraine (except of few of my friends :)) and their media follows orders of the trolls to delete Ukrainians and if you want to convince me you do, bring these American guys back on LinkedIn 😉
Unfortunately, it happens with all who want to know about Russian politics, what Russia does in Ukraine. If you want to know it too, be ready for this and don’t forget to save your contacts and their contact info.
I was asked if my account was deleted, but for now not yet 🙂
Not that I care anyway, especially if I had this experience and if you don’t save people’s contacts and then will rush in case something like this happens, it means you add people to become popular and not interested in networking. I am sure Charles now learns who is his friend who is not, if he gets email from someone now. I showed him few messages of other people which I found, so he likes them too 🙂 Like this , or this and this .
This is life and unfortunately it’s not a fiction, but reality, even if someone doesn’t believe it. They are nice guys and you should send report to LinkedIn to unlock them, especially if you are an American 😉
Why this happens here on LinkedIn and why American companies like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook don’t protect their members and let this happen without any prior investigation? Why LinkedIn doesn’t even know how their system works and just sending standardized replies, when each case is different and you have to check every single case and not closing each case after you send standard reply. Is this what people pay for? This is not professional at all. I hope Charles & James will use their connections to make LinkedIn accountable for this.